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UK government accused of shutting out Northern Irish MPs from Brexit committee

The U.K. government has been accused of shutting out the Northern Irish voices from the committee that will scrutinize Brexit talks | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

UK government accused of shutting out Northern Irish MPs from Brexit committee

Boris Johnson wants more Conservatives in the group because of the ‘sensitivity of the ongoing negotiations,’ Democratic Unionist Party MP says.

By

3/4/20, 2:09 PM CET

Updated 3/4/20, 2:42 PM CET

LONDON — The U.K. government has been accused of shutting out Northern Irish voices from the House of Commons committee that will scrutinize the Brexit talks.

Of the 21 MPs appointed to the committee on the future relationship with the European Union, 12 are Conservatives, seven are from the Labour Party and two belong to the Scottish National Party. None of them represent constituencies in Northern Ireland.

The number of MPs from each party on the committee is based roughly on the makeup of parliament, but the details are largely negotiated by party whips behind closed doors. In the past, the Conservatives and Labour have given up seats to allow smaller parties to be represented.

The committee will be the main venue for the British parliament to scrutinize the Brexit negotiations, since the government doesn’t plan on giving MPs a vote on any final deal agreed with the EU — and Northern Ireland is expected to feature high on its agenda, given the debate around how to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

“We weren’t offered a place in the new committee,” said Sammy Wilson,

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